A Voice for Student-Athletes: SAAC

(Defiance, OH) Hey DC! Today we get to spend some time together talking about an underappreciated and quite incredible organization on campus. This is the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, or SAAC for short. SAAC is an organization, specifically for student athletes on campus, and it gives them an opportunity to not only give back, but also have a voice in their college experience.

To give a little background about SAAC, each team gets to have representatives for this organization. They meet around 1-2 times per month, and talk about current issues going on in the NCAA, ways to improve the conference and the overall college experience, and help support all the student athletes on campus.

Members of SAAC have a direct voice in what happens in the NCAA. All members of SAAC have a chance to vote on legislation that is put together by the NCAA. Each member consults their team about what the legislation entails, then SAAC votes as a group, and sends it back to the NCAA, who then bases their decision off of all the SAAC’s around the world.

SAAC does not just handle formal issues though. They also give back to the community. One thing that DC’s SAAC does is participate in Unified Bowling, where one collegiate athlete will be paired with someone who has a mental disability, and they go out and compete in a bowling tournament. DC sponsors 4 total students, so we have 4 student athletes currently participating in Unified Bowling.

SAAC also does more than community service, but they do things to try and make the student athlete experience here at DC better. As a group of students, they organize specific games where they will make signs for a team and work on getting a big crowd there, or having little kids at the game for our student athletes. They also put on a full week of appreciation for our athletes here on campus, where athletes are spotlighted for excelling in the classroom and on the field. The organization also funds game nights for athletes, and even an ice cream night from Eric’s that is free of charge for all athletes.

DC just had a student athlete elected president of the entire HCAC’s SAAC. Mason Rapp, a junior on the baseball team, was elected recently to lead the HCAC for this upcoming year. We had a chance to meet up with Mason and he had this to say, “To me it means I get to wake up every single day and represent our student athlete body and continue the goal to make this campus even better for student athletes.”

Another person who has an extreme passion for DC’s SAAC is volleyball’s assistant coach, Alicia Kalik, who had this to say when asked about why SAAC is an important organization, “SAAC is a group comprised of student-athletes who work together to enhance the experience and opportunities for all students on campus. Student-athletes involved in SAAC are the voice of student-athletes both on campus, in the conference, and through the NCAA.”

If you are a student athlete, and are interested in joining SAAC, please contact Whitney Schaulk or any other SAAC executive board member and take the correct steps in joining this incredible organization.

Written by Zac Bires

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